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Author: MiguelDR

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Horrible Imaginings Podcast #184: M.F.A. Director Natalia Leite Subverts the Rape-Revenge Subgenre

Rape Revenge films are perhaps the most replete with conflict for conscientious audience members who find themselves, for one reason or another, drawn to them. Whether people feel comfortable admitting it or not, this especially dark and often nasty subgenre is a lucrative one, with thousands of imitations and similar stories released worldwide. Some of the most notorious have been remade, including the Day of the Woman or I Spit on Your Grave remake launching a franchise of three films, and a sequel to the 1978 original, starring Camille Keaton and directed by the original’s Meir Zarchi set to come out this year.

The profitability of rape revenge films has a lot of angry detractors, as well as a lot of supporters, a fact attributable not only to the sensationalistic and brutal nature of these movies, but also to the stark duality in their simple narrative structures. Are they about the rape or the revenge? How much time is devoted to each of those violent acts? These things have been discussed often, but one question that should always be asked is who is telling these stories and why?

Earlier this year saw the release of a film that is listed as a psychological thriller, but is certainly a rape revenge film. It is called M.F.A., and it is written by Leah McKendrick, a woman also has a role in the film, and directed by Natalia Leite. In this film, Francesca Eastwood plays Noelle an art student who suffers a brutal rape at the hands of a fellow art major. Her experiences following this trauma lead to Noelle taking matters in her own hands. I am happy to say that Leite has decided to take some time to join me to discuss her thoughts behind this challenging project, and most importantly why it is important that women take charge of telling these stories.

This episode will be in two parts, the first part being spoiler free before delving more deeply into the story of M.F.A. There will be plenty of warnings before we go too far into spoiler territory, but really you should check this film out anyway. It is available on blu-ray and VOD right now. Be sure to leave it a review! Now get to listening!

Subscribe to the Horrible Imaginings Podcast right here. You can also listen here on Dread Central or on the Horrible Imaginings website. You can help keep the podcast, the film festival, and our horror community going for only $1 per month! Become a patron at our Patreon for exclusive content and perks! Find out about San Diego horror events on our FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube pages, and always stay scared!

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Special Guests Join Ho Ho Horrible Imaginings Holiday Horror Party!

Our sold out Ho Ho Horrible Imaginings is gearing up to scare in the Yuletide horror season tonight at Digital Gym Cinema! Meet the visiting filmmakers who will be in attendance to discuss their works of gruesome Christmas jeer!

Remember that also included will be "Merry Christmas...Love, K" from director Anthony Cousins (When Susurrus Stirs), as well as a super special creeper feature! Now on to tonight's special guests:

Trevor Dillon and Ian Hock
Ghost Party Pictures presents "Foxwood"
Born and raised in Southern California, Dillon and Hock formed a filmmaking partnership after meeting in college. Die hard fans of genre films, they aim to create energizing content that advances narrative and style while honoring their love and passion for the films they grew up with. Together, they are set to unveil their latest project, “FOXWOOD," a holiday horror short where a blind date takes a monstrous turn as a young couple meets on a cold Christmas night. Stay tuned as they look to expand the "Foxwood" story while developing fun and exciting new projects for the future.

Sam Wineman
Director of "Santaland"
Sam is an LA-based horror director who recently graduated from Chapman University with an MFA in Film Production. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley where he taught a class on slasher films. Sam has completed two semesters as a development intern for Blumhouse Productions and teaches a course on film production at Stanford University's Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes. He loves drag queens and scary movies and seeing what happens when you mix the two.

Eric Snow
Killer in "Santaland"
A fan of the eclectic, the obscure, the fantastical, Eric prefers to immerse himself in the roles of monsters, creatures, or anything otherworldly. Hailing from upstate New York Eric graduated high school and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Returning to the states he developed an interest in acting the calling leading to Los Angeles where Eric studied under acting coach Dennis LaValle. Eric then had the good fortune of being cast in a Chapman student film to play the masked killer in the movie Santa Land where he worked with director Sam Wineman. On two other occasions Eric has served Mr. Wineman as masked killer, for the films Mischief Night and most recently The Quiet Room. Outside of the horror genre Eric portrayed a space station mechanic in another Chapman student film The Beacon and a hitman in the independent film Origins of Life. With or without the masks and makeup Eric enjoys taking on various characters and welcomes the challenge of depicting them in such a way that connects and entertains.

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Horrible Imaginings Podcast #183: Films to Watch at San Diego Asian Film Festival 2017!

Hello everyone! As you know, this is a horror genre podcast but it is also a film festival official podcast, and we are trying to increase our content that has to do with film festival missions and purposes from the start so let’s start with an element in the film festival world that I am particularly a proponent of: collaboration.

From my point of view, this is in the effort to serve two main purposes:

  1. 1. To promote the filmmakers of new innovative and exciting independent cinema
  2. 2. To build a community of general audience members who are smart, enthusiastic, and eager to learn more about the art of cinema
There are parts of our mission statement, and every mission statement that differ or go beyond those things, but I would say those are the two main umbrella purposes. In my view, we fill those needs better and with greater power when we work together, expose each other’s audiences to different types of films, and learn from each other’s experiences. Not only that, but I get the opportunity to experience a number of fantastic film festivals year in and year out, which is no small benefit!

This week includes one of the best here in San Diego. With their 18th year about to kick off on Thursday, November 9th, Pac Arts Movement’s San Diego Asian Film Festival has spent almost two decades celebrating Pan-Asian media arts and the creators of those arts with over a week of films, panels, discussions, and more. They also do year-round programs, work with schools in youth outreach efforts, and generally help with some much needed enrichment of San Diego Arts and Culture. I am happy to have my friend, the Artistic Director of Pac Arts Movement, Brian Hu here to chat with us about this year’s offerings. It is amazing to get him just one day before his madness begins, so thank you, Brian! 

In this episode, we discuss:
    What Brian Hu's role is in the San Diego Asian Film Festival
    The variety of films and the importance of genre
    How genre helps SD Asian Film Fest meet their mission statement
    MYSTERY KUNG FU THEATER
    A watch list for all of you!
    Other special programs

If you are not in San Diego, take these titles down to seek them out at a film festival near you, or perhaps even another theatrical run. If you are, you need to join us! Click Here for a complete program!

If you want to join us, here are our itinerarys:

Miguel:

Friday 11/10: 
2:15pm: Bad Genius at Ultrastar
4pm: Short Films: New Mutants at Ultrastar
6:15pm: Marlina the Murderer at Ultrastar
8:35pm: Before we Vanish at Ultrastar

Saturday 11/11:
1pm: Podcasting Panel at Marriott Mission Valley
2:40pm: Shopping for Fangs at Ultrastar
4pm: Animation at Ultrastar
8:40pm: Try to catch the first act of The Villainess
9:45pm: Caniba at Ultrastar

Sunday 11/12
Noon: Reel Voices Shorts at Ultrastar
3:45pm: Have a Nice Day at Ultrastar
6:30pm: Mon Mon Mon Monsters at UCSD Price Theater

Monday 11/13
4pm: Short Films: Where the Light at Ultrastar
9:40pm: Mystery Kung Fu Theater at Ultrastar (this is nonnegotiable for us all)

Tuesday 11/14
5:30pm: Birds without Names at Ultrastar
8:55pm Paradox at Ultrastar

Wednesday 11/15
2pm: Our Time will Come at Ultrastar
5:45pm: Shorts International Discoveries at Ultrastar
6:45pm: Cococolors (only 45 mins)
8:55pm: Dragonfly Eyes at DGC

Thursday 11/16
4pm: Short Films Disinherit Me at Ultrastar
7:50pm: Somewhere Beyond the Mist at Ultrastar

Sterling:

Saturday 11/11:
1pm: Claire's Camera
5pm: The Day After
9:45pm: Caniba at Ultrastar

Sunday 11/12
4:05pm: They
6:30pm: A Taxi Driver

Monday 11/13
4pm: Short Films: Where the Light at Ultrastar
7:35pm: Those Long Haired Nights
9:40pm: Mystery Kung Fu Theater at Ultrastar

Wednesday 11/15
6:40pm: Bamseom Pirates Seoul Inferno at DGC
8:55pm: Dragonfly Eyes at DGC

Thursday 11/16
6pm: A Day
7:50pm: Somewhere Beyond the Mist at Ultrastar

Friday 11/17
7pm: A Better Man at TheNAT

The San Diego Asian Film Festival is San Diego's largest film festival and premiere showcase of Asian American and international cinema. This year, SDAFF includes International, North American, and San Diego premiere screenings, filmmaker and artist Q&As, celebrity appearances, and exclusive events.

Subscribe to the Horrible Imaginings Podcast right here. You can also listen here on Dread Central or on the Horrible Imaginings website. You can help keep the podcast, the film festival, and our horror community going for only $1 per month! Become a patron at our Patreon for exclusive content and perks! Find out about San Diego horror events on our FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube pages, and always stay scared!
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Horrible Imaginings Podcast #182: 2 Sentence Horror Stories

In a recent trend of referring to popular web based content as a means of retelling the modern horror story, the amount of viable source material to draw upon seems to expand in measure quicker than said supply can be depleted. We’ve seen Youtube provide us with creepypasta born series such as Marble Hornets and SyFy has tuned us in to Channel Zero for two consecutive seasons, as of this publication. Turning to the online populous for the darkest & most effective material has proven fruitful thus far, allowing for a welcomed and less-traditional narrative structure to be executed when necessary. But aside from the telling and retelling of now familiar internet urban mythos, we have many alternative avenues of unnerving narrative to adapt. Some that would, at first glance, appear far too modest in length to concisely rework as a compelling visual device. Yet, Independent voice and executive producer Vera Miao has experienced quite the opposite while doing just that.

Some, if not most of us, are familiar with the idea of 2 Sentence Horror Stories. For those who are not as acquainted with the idea, it couldn’t be more literal if we tried to make it so. These admittedly compact tales provide us with an entire feature’s worth of lore, all while keeping specifics at such a minimum, that we are already filling in these blanks with what our own psyche conjures up. It is upon finishing the climactic second half of these short stories that we swiftly find out how effective this simple literary device is at creeping us out. This of course allows for much room to spread one’s visionary wings, which Miao has done quite masterfully. Stage13, a subsidiary of Warner Bros Entertainment, has been the vessel to aid in Miao’s adaptation of this material, which has been delivered as a web based anthology series. As writer, show runner and occasional director of the series, this discussion describes the difficulties and blessings of working with a narrative so minuscule yet open-ended in order to derive an episodical end result. Another topic touched on is the fact that this series has been critical in the truthful on screen representation of varying culture, ethnicity and gender. This is admirably fitting, as in the year of Barry Jenkins, Jordan Peele and Patty Jenkins, we also have Vera Miao’s 2 Sentence Horror Stories - an unsung chapter in an all around progressive year for cinematic diversity. 

All currently available episodes of 2 Second Horror Stories can be viewed for free by visiting www.Stage13.com. 

Subscribe to the Horrible Imaginings Podcast right here. You can also listen here on Dread Central or on the Horrible Imaginings website. You can help keep the podcast, the film festival, and our horror community going for only $1 per month! Become a patron at our Patreon for exclusive content and perks! Find out about San Diego horror events on our FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube pages, and always stay scared!
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Horrible Imaginings Podcast #181: Halloween Watchlists to Make You Shudder!

We are less than a week from Halloween, the best year of the night for us horror fans, and if you are anything like me you are planning on filling your days with even more horror films than usual in celebration. With all of the new and unprecedented access to more film titles than ever before, we can spend just as much (or more) time combing through lists and trying to make decisions than we do actually watching our favorite movies. That's why it can be a lot of help to have some solid curators around.

In this episode I recruited two of the best curators around. The horror streaming service Shudder is the Halloween destination for all things horror, thriller and suspense. They distinguish themselves from other streaming services with a keen attention to film selection, categorization, and, of course, curation. Colin Geddes and Sam Zimmerman are very passionate about that curation job they do for Shudder, and I am happy to have them on this episode.

There was only one true mission here: we each created our own lists of films that we think are great for Halloween. I asked them for titles and to explain why they would fit specifically for this season, when we all know we watch horror year round. So, what are you waiting for? Get your pen and paper out to copy down these lists, prepare your nights for popcorn and frights, and (if you haven't already) subscribe to Shudder for some of the best horror around!

ABOUT SHUDDER: AMC Network’s Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving fans of all degrees with thrillers, suspense, and horror. Home to the largest and fastest-growing human-curated selection of high-quality, spine-tingling and provocative international and independent films, TV series, and originals, there’s always something new and unexpected for Shudder members to explore. Shudder’s expanding library is available in the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland on the web, iOS, Android, Chromecast, Apple TV, Fire TV, Xbox One, and Roku for $4.99/month or $49.99 with an annual membership. Join the Shudder community experience commitment-free for 7 days, visitwww.shudder.com.

Twitter @shudder | Facebook @Shudder | Instagram @Shudder | YouTube @Shudder
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Horrible Imaginings Podcast #180: Rogue Artists Ensemble Puts YOU In A Japanese Ghost Story! Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin!

Oh boy, am I a sucker for a good Japanese ghost story. There is just something about them that resonates with me. I think it is the focus on spirits that exact a cruel form of justice and vengeance. The cold callousness mixed with an almost deserved karma. It speaks to me. I first read the English re-tellings of many of these ancient folklore by an author named Lafcadio Hearn, a sort of Brothers Grimm for Japanese supernatural stories, when I was in high school, and I have been entranced ever since.

So imagine my immediate interest when I heard that this Halloween season would introduce a new immersive haunt experience based on these stories! It is a magnetic and innovative DIY production from Rogue Artists Ensemble and East West Players called Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin.

Reggie Yip
Photo by Rebecca Bonebrake

In it, "you receive a letter from a woman who is haunted by a mysterious event in her past—and she needs your help. When you arrive at her family’s warehouse, you ascend to the fifth and sixth floors in a creaking freight elevator, followed by a voice that calls out through the shadows, drowning you in echoes of wells and engines and graveyards, in tangles of hair and snow, in sharp reflections of your darkest moments—a voice that may not be human."

I got the chance to interview the director Sean T. Cawelti, co-writer Chelsea Sutton, and Jasmine Orpilla, one of the lead actors of this piece, after experiencing it myself. I also wanted to get another perspective on the experience, so I invited my friend Kim Garland to co-host this podcast with me. She is a brilliant filmmaker in her own right, and you can check out her stuff here. I am happy to have her with me to give her account of the performance (and to protect me from ghosts)! This will be a spoiler free look at the process of bringing this atmospheric, creepy, and classic stories to life in an immersive way that encourages audience participation. I encourage you to check it out if you are anywhere near Los Angeles!

Jasmine Orpilla
Photo by Chelsea Sutton

Subscribe to the Horrible Imaginings Podcast right here. You can also listen here on Dread Central or on the Horrible Imaginings website. You can help keep the podcast, the film festival, and our horror community going for only $1 per month! Become a patron at our Patreon for exclusive content and perks! Find out about San Diego horror events on our FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube pages, and always stay scared!
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